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Summiting Mount Kilimanjaro on a Bike Is As Hard As It Looks

As a common practice, the African Safaris are the adventurous trips made for various purposes like: finding the African notorious animals in their natural habitats, or cruising on rivers and lakes, or hiking the mountains or trekking the deserts. But some want to be different by opting for “Biking or Cycling on Kilimanjaro”.

Those never die who do something extraordinary: uncommon and unusual. Only those persons who are more adventurous than others can dare to do something different than what the common mass is doing. Doing something uncommon is a special quality found in very few people in the world. The absurd thought may accrue at any moment for any work and implementing over that may bring you happiness or fame. For example: as a common practice, the African Safaris are the adventurous trips made for various purposes like: finding the African notorious animals in their natural habitats, or cruising on rivers and lakes, or hiking the mountains or trekking the deserts. But some want to be different by opting for “Biking Or Cycling On Kilimanjaro”. This special event brings a special flavour and fun for those who participate in it.

A relatively new concept on Africa’s highest mountain, Mountain Biking Expeditions were once strictly limited to just a few charity tours each year, but today, anyone can do Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing, all you need is a good pair of cycling shorts, the support of qualified mountain crew, and the mental and physical determination to hike and cycle to 5,895m above sea-level, on what is sure to be the journey of a lifetime! In fact this funny but adventurous concept started from 1985 after Dick and Nick Crane became the first recorded people to reach the summit of Kili with bikes. The book written by them “Bicycles Up Kilimanjaro” inspired thousands to adapt it in their list of itinerary on African Safari. Its popularity grew day by day and now around 20-25% of the young climbers is opting for this.

Since the millennium, as the mountain became ever busier, so cycling has largely been forbidden. But now the Kilimanjaro authority is willing to promote the Kilimanjaro Cycling expedition looking at the growing demand of the visitors. Most surprisingly the authorities have decided not only to allow cyclists back on the slopes, but have even opened up a whole new route and they have planned out a unique itinerary just for them. Everyone carrying a cycle to the summit must be charged an extra of US$50 per person per day in addition to the park fee. But the factor important is that, is it like someone hiking on Kilimanjaro on foot?

Yes: it is something like exploring Kilimanjaro on foot. You have to cycle through solitary rainforests, fertile fields of crop and through wild, dry acacia rich savannah,( the home of the Masai).You have to fight with the altitude, gear malfunctions, weather, and emotional ups and downs unlike the hikers. The experience would be same but the adventure and the pleasure would be more. If you have decided to cycle to 5,895m above sea-level, to make your expedition extraordinary and a life time achievement, then the following tips may help you to complete your expedition in a comfortable manner.

What Route To Choose To Cycle On Kilimanjaro?

The recommended routes for Cycling On Kilimanjaro are the Marangu Route and the Lemosho Route. While you can cycle it in 5 days, it is recommended that you go for a 6 or 7-day itinerary, which will give you extra time for acclimatization, and a higher chance of reaching the summit.

Take Your Own Mountain Bike?

While it is possible to rent mountain bikes in Arusha for as little as $20 per day, it is recommended that you should take your own bike with you. It is because you are comfortable with your bike in your practice session and secondly you can make it repaired if something goes wrong on the mountain. Your adaptability with your cycle would bring you more comfort.

How Much Of The Route Can One Cycle?

Many a factors govern to this like your stamina, the weather and atmosphere, your health and so on. So that is up to you. Besides you have to choose, if you want to cycle up and down Kilimanjaro or only hike up when a porter would carry your cycle down? A guide would always be there with you and you would have to decide each day exactly how much cycling you would like to do. Make sure that the higher you get, the more challenging it gets. The top portions would be tougher than the base part. So you need to pace yourself in the beginning by which you can finish your expedition within the scheduled time.

Is Cycling Costlier Than Hiking On Foot?

Yes. There is a daily fee for taking bicycles in the Kilimanjaro National Park. This will add approximately $400 on to the price of a regular 7-day expedition.

What Happens If You Fail To Ride Half Way?

Don’t bother for this. Your guide knows that cycling uphill is not an easy task and at some point you may fail to do so. In this case you will have a porter specifically for your cycle and if you don’t feel like cycling: feel too ill to continue or simply prefer to walk, they will carry it for you.

What Is The Best Time Of The Year To Cycle On Kilimanjaro?

It is possible to cycle Kilimanjaro at any time of the year, but it is best to avoid the rainy season (February to May) as the conditions may be unsuitable for mountain biking. Because the routes would be slippery at some points muddy. That would prevent your pace which may be resulted in consuming more time than the scheduled one. September and October are great months to hike and bike Kilimanjaro – although it is the busiest time of the year.

Roopkund Lake, Uttarakhand – A Mystery Frozen in Time

Also known as the Lake of Skeletons, Roopkund Lake in Uttarakhand, located at 5029m above sea level, was a mystery frozen in time which was only unravelled recently by scientists.

The nascence of this lake at such a height was already a matter of bewilderment. On top of it, the lake has a heap of skeletons buried at its bottom, which is visible only once the snow melts. It was chanced upon by a forest ranger in 1942 who discovered mass grave in this inaccessible lake which actually takes a difficult trek of 4 days to reach at an isolated and uninhabited place.

Local legends believe that the skeletons belong to King of Kannauj of 9th Century AD. who was headed for a pilgrimage of Mount Nanda Devi along with his queen and other pilgrims who met with a sudden hailstorm and drowned in the lake. Scientists have recently corroborated the story that the skeletons actually belong to pilgrims and locals dated to around 850 AD. The researchers concluded that these deaths were caused by fatal blows on the back of the heads and not due to wounds found through battle-weapons, avalanche or landslide. The marks on the skulls and shoulder-bones were consistent with being hit by something round of the size of a cricket ball. The best guess is of the ball sized hail stones which would have caused the injuries and subsequently, deaths of these pilgrims.

Roopkund, also known as the mystery lake, is surrounded by rock-strewn glaciers and snow-clad mountains. The lake is about 2 meters deep and hundreds of trekkers flock to it every year. Tourists and pilgrims also attend the Nanda Devi Raj Jat that takes place once every twelve years at Roopkund for worship of goddess Nanda.

Roopkund Travel Guide

Distance from Delhi: 492 Km + 34 Km (trek)
Best Season: May to October

How to reach Roopkund

Lohajung Pass, well connected through motorable roads, is the starting point of the trek. The difficulty level of trek from Lohajung Pass to Bedni Bugyal is medium. Bedni Bugyal is the most scenic spot en route with a vast expanse of greenery, slopes full of coniferous trees. The most difficult part of the trek is of 14 km from Bedni Bugyal to Roopkund which is meant for properlygeared up travellers with prior trekking experience. No accommodation is available on the trek route.

Road route from Delhi to Roopkund

Delhi – Haridwar – Rishikesh – Devprayag – Srinagar – Rudraprayag – Karnaprayag – Dewal – Lohajung Pass – (Trekking = 34 Km) – Roopkund

Train Route to Roopkund

Rishikesh is the nearest railway station to Roopkund Lake. From Rishikesh, the road route as mentioned above needs to be followed.

Flight Route to Roopkund

Dehradun’s Jolly Grant airport is nearest to Roopkund. From there, the road route leads to Dewal from where the above mentioned road route can be followed.

Attention thrill seekers! Have you ever heard about the lake of skeletons nestled amidst rocky glaciers and snow-clad mountains, that too at the height of 5029 meters above sea level? Pack your travel gear and be prepared, as this trek is only meant for experienced trekkers. This mass grave, submerged in the glacial lake can only be seen once the snow melts. Scientists have been trying to date the skeletons which are said to be from around 9th century A.D. So be prepared for nasty surprises on this trek.

Why You Should Get A Luxury Safari of Tanzania

Are you planning a holiday trip? If you want to have a memorable and a once in a lifetime vacation with your family, be sure to visit Tanzania or United Republic of Tanzania. This place is full of wonders and astonishing occurrences that attract hundreds of thousands of tourists regularly. You might take interest in nature and this place will help you in getting close to the same. With its numerous natural assets, you might understand as to why, this country is one of the hottest destinations among tourists.

Kilimanjaro is situated in this heavenly place too. Therefore, you will get all sorts of fun activities to do here without encountering any kind of difficulty or problem. You can contact professional safari experts online for better results. With a luxury safari Tanzania and Kilimanjaro trekking you can be certain of having an exceptional traveling experience.

About Tanzania:

Tanzania is a country in the African continent, situated on the eastern side within the African Great Lakes region. This country shares its borders with Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique. Tanzania is the home of Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro where you can begin climbing Kilimanjaro.

Finding the best safari in Tanzania is not a hard task. Kenya Tanzania safari has a pleasure of its own. Through the following points, you will get to know about some of the strongest suits of this place and the reasons as to why you should spend your holidays here.

See Arusha:

In Arusha, you can be certain of having a pleasant sight due to the Mount Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti National park. See lions, giraffes, leopards and rhinoceros and get the true experience of the wonderful wildlife of Africa. You will love the natural sights of Arusha and that is why, it is the most popular tourist place here in Tanzania.

Animals and other natural resources are the biggest attractions of this place. Wildebeest’s migration is another awesome phenomenon that happens here and you can see it yourself for a memorable moment.

Play in Unguja:

Unguja is an island in Tanzania. It houses the amazing 1883 House of Wonders sultan’s palace. It also has a clock tower, which is a driving force for attracting tourists. The Old Fort has many other facilities, as it has not become a stone amphitheater and cultural center. Winding lanes and Mosques gives this place its signature ambience and looks, which you will fail to find anywhere else.

Enjoy Ngorongoro:

Ngorongoro is one of the protected areas in Tanzania. It has a plethora of natural resources and that is why, you would love to give this place a visit. It is very close to Arusha and you will be able to come here from that place quite quickly. Here, you will get to see some more sights of the Tanzanian wildlife in the form of lions, zebras and black rhinoceros. The greenery is another major reason to like this place.

Tragic Tale of Great Ocean Roads Loch Ard Gorge

Great Ocean Road’s Loch Ard Gorge, a tragic story

“If you are saved Eva, let my dear wife know that I died like a sailor,” Captain Gibbs said.

Many of us would like a story with a happy ending. A brave young man saves a beautiful lady from danger. The two fall in love, marry and live happily ever after. But that is not how the story ends for Tom and Eva.

Tom Pearce was nineteen when he was an apprentice of Loch Ard, a clipper ship that was bound for Melbourne from England. It left England for Victoria’s Port Phillip Bay on 2 March 1878.

After a three-month journey, the cargo ship that was in a full capacity reached the waters of Port Campbell and ran aground near Mutton Bird Island on 1 June. It was dark and misty. When the captain realized the ship was in a shallow water, it was already too late. The clipper collided with a rocky reef.

Of the 54 people including 17 passengers and 37 crew members, only two had survived the shipwreck. Even the 29-year-old commander of Loch Ard, Captain Gibbs, did not make it to the shore.

Tom jumped off the ship and swam across the shore. Upon reaching land, he heard a woman crying for help. A brave sailor he was, he jumped into the water and rescued Eva Carmichael. She’s a 19-year-old Irish woman who was to emigrate to Melbourne with her family.

When they reached the shore, Eva was unconscious. Thanks to the case of brandy that was washed ashore that was of help in reviving her.

Tom climbed out of the gorge to raise an alarm to local pastoralists. Two men from the nearby Glenample Station rushed for their help. Immediately, teams of rescuers were sent to save the ship’s passengers. But no one else survived. The rest of the people aboard Loch Ard perished in the cold, rough sea including Eva’s family.

The young sailor received a hero’s welcome in Melbourne. And the story of Tom and Eva spread throughout Australia and England. They were so famous that people wished them to get married. Despite people’s wishes, Eva returned to Europe three months later and married an aristocrat. Tom was just a sailor.

A real-life story is often tragic, and most of the time, it does not end the way we want it to be. Tom continued to work as a sailor and returned to England where he died in Southampton. He was 49.

Loch Ard had been sailing between 1873 and 1878 from England to Australia and vice versa with a stop in Calcutta, India. The 1878 trip to Melbourne was the fifth and final voyage. Since 1797 there had been over 800 shipwrecks in Victoria of which less than 200 of them have been discovered.

On 11 March 1982, Loch Ard was protected as a Historic Shipwreck. The cargoes were salvaged. Some artifacts and relics of the shipwreck still remained and stored in a museum that was built to keep the details of Loch Ard Gorge’s history. There’s also a cemetery of those who died in the incident and a number of plaques.

Loch Ard Gorge was named after the shipwrecked clipper. In June 2009, the arch of the nearby Island Archway collapsed. The two unconnected pillars are officially named Tom and Eva, after the Loch Ard survivors.

You can get to Loch Ard Gorge through the Great Ocean Road 3.5 kilometres northwest of the Twelve Apostles. Climb down the cliff through a stairway and stroll down the beach. You can also slip out to the east side of the gorge through a pathway.